Mon Frere Camille

A poem by William Henry Drummond

Mon frere Camille he was first class blood
W'en he come off de State las' fall,
Wearin' hees boot a la mode box toe
An' diamon' pin on hees shirt also
Sam' as dem feller on Chi-caw-go;
But now he 's no blood at all,
Camille, mon frere.

W'at 's makin' dat change on mon frere Camille?
Wall! lissen for minute or two,
An' I 'll try feex it up on de leetle song
Dat 's geevin' some chance kin' o' help it along
So wedder I'm right or wedder I'm wrong
You 'll know all about heem w'en I get t'roo,
Mon frere Camille.

He never sen' leter for t' orteen year
So of course he mus' be all right
Till telegraph 's comin' from Kan-Ka-Kee
"I 'm leffin' dis place on de half pas't'ree
W'at you want to bring is de beg' buggee
An' double team sure for me t' orsday night
Ton frere Camille."

I wish you be dere w'en Camille arrive
I bet you will say "W'at 's dat?"
For he 's got leetle cap very lak tuque bleu
Ole habitant 's wearin' in bed, dat's true,
An' w'at do you t'ink he carry too?
Geev it up? Wall! small valise wit' de fine plug hat.
Mon frere Camille.

"Very strange." I know you will say right off,
For dere 's not'ing wrong wit' hees clothes,
An' he put on style all de bes' he can
Wit' diamon' shinin' across hees han'
An' de way he's talkin' lak Yankee man
Mus' be purty hard on hees nose,
Mon frere Camille.

But he 's splain all dat about funny cap,
An' tole us de reason w'y,
It seem no feller can travel far,
An' specially too on de Pullman car,
'Less dey wear leetle cap only 'cos dollarre,
Dat 's true if he never die,
Mon frere Camille.

Don't look very strong dem fancy boot
But he 's splain all dat also
He say paten' ledder she 's nice an' gay
You don't need to polish dem ev'ry day,
Besides he 's too busy for dat alway,
W'en he's leevin' on Chi-caw-go,
Mon frere Camille.

But de State she was n't de only place
He visit all up an' down,
For he's goin' Cu-baw an' de Mex-i-co,
W'ere he 's killin' two honder dem wil' taureau,
W'at you call de bull: on de circus show,
O! if you believe heem he travel roun'.
Mon frere Camille.

So of course w'en ma broder was gettin' home
All de peop' on de parish come
Every night on de parlor for hear heem tell
How he foller de brave General Roosvel'
W'en rough rider feller dey fight lak hell
An' he walk on de front wit' great beg drum,
Mon frere Camille.

An' how is he gainin' dat diamon' ring?
Way off on de Mex-i-co
W'ere he 's pilin' de bull wan summer day
Till it 's not easy haulin' dem all away,
An' de lady dey 're t'rowin' heem large bouquet
For dey lak de style he was keel taureau,
Mon frere Camille.

Wall! he talk dat way all de winter t'roo,
An' hees frien' dey was tryin' fin'
Some bull on de country dat 's wil' enough
For mon frere camille, but it 's purty tough
'Cos de farmer 's not raisin' such fightin' stuff
An' he don't want not'ing but mos' worse kin'
Mon frere Camille.

Dat 'd not pleasan' t'ing mebbe los' hees trade,
If we don't hurry up, for sure,
I s'pose you t'ink I was goin' it strong?
Never min' , somet'ing happen 'fore very long
It 'll all come out on dis leetle song
W'en he pass on de house of Ma-dame Latour
Camille, mon frere.

We 're makin' pique-nique on Denise Latour
For helpin' put in de hay
Too bad she 's de moder large familee
An' los' de bes' husban' she never see
W'en he drown on de reever, poor Jeremie,
So he come wit' de res' of de gang dat day,
Camille, mon frere.

An' affer de hay it was put away
Don't tak' very long at all,
De boy an' de girl she was lookin' 'roun
For havin' more fun 'fore dey lef' de groun'
An' dey see leetle bull, mebbe t'ree honder poun'
An' nex' t'ing I hear dem call
Mon frere Camille.

So nice leetle feller I never see
Dat bull of Ma-dame Latour
Wit' curly hair on de front hees head
An' quiet? jus' sam' he was almos' dead
An' fat? wall! de chil'ren dey see heem fed
So he 's not goin' keel heem I 'm very sure,
Mon frere Camille.

But de girl kip teasin' an' ole Ma-dame
She say, "You can go ahead
He cos' me four dollarre six mont' ago
So if anyt'ing happen ma small taureau,
Who 's pay me dat monee I lak to know?"
An' he answer, "Dat 's me w'en I keel heem dead"
Mon frere Camille.

Den he feex beeg knife on de twelve foot pole,
So de chil'ren commence to cry
An' he jomp on de fence, an' yell, "Hooraw"
An' shout on de leetle French bull, "Dis donc!
Ain't you scare w'en you see feller from Cu-baw?"
An' he show heem hees red necktie,
Mon frere Camille.

L'petit taureau w'en he see dat tie
He holler for half a mile
Den he jomp on de leg an' he raise de row
Ba Golly! I'm sure I can see heem now.
An' dey run w'en dey hear heem, de noder cow
Den he say, "Dat bull must be surely wil'"
Mon frere Camille.

But de bull don't care w'at he say at all,
For he 's watchin' dat red necktie
An' w'en ma broder he push de pole
I 'm sure it 's makin' some purty large hole,
If de bull be dere, but ma blood run col'
For de nex' t'ing I hear heem cry,
Camille, mon frere.

No wonder he cry, for dat sapree bull
He 's yell leetle bit some more,
Den he ketch ma broder dat small taureau
Only cos' four dollarre six mont' ago
An' he 's t'rowin' heem up from de groun' below
Wan tam, two tam, till he 's feelin' sore,
Camille, mon frere.

An' w'en ma broder 's come down agen
I s'pose he mus' change hees min'
An' mebbe t'ink if it 's all de sam'
He 'll keel dat bull w'en he get more tam
For dere he was runnin' wit' ole Ma-dame
De chil'ren, de bull, an' de cow behin'
Camille, mon frere.

So dat's de reason he 's firse class blood
W'en he come off de State las' fall
Wearin' hees boot a la mode bo toe
An' diamon' pin on hees shirt also
Sam' as dem feller on Chi-caw-go
But now he 's no blood at all,
Camille, mon frere.

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